Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Exercise... What's That?

It had been a week and a half since my last workout / training session, and it was not looking good. I know this feeling all too well. Maybe some of you do, too... When you get SO SO SO motivated to do something. You start out with the best intentions and all the steam you can muster, like the little engine that could. One day is missed... just one lousy, frickin day; and then the whole thing seems like an impossible feat or, at the very least, an annoying chore. And goddamn do I like to procrastinate... SLOTH in five syllables. That's me! It gets dreadful because that feeling of giving up destroys your morale while your lack of effort diminishes any progress that you've made prior to this pause.

Well, folks... I nipped that lazy crap in the butt. As I posted yesterday, I bought some fresh new running shiz. This was all the inspiration that I needed... but I actually got more. A couple of people pissed me off pretty badly to the point where I needed to do something to clear my head and release my frustrations. What did I do?... DING! DING! DING! That's right I ran! I ran my little heart out. I ran passionately, like Kevin Bacon when he had that angry, aggressive, and sexy (no homo) dancing scene in Footloose. I became one with it... until I hit the first mile... then I was tired. Luckily, I saw this guy walking down the street. Being that I had just rounded the last block to turn around and go back home, it was the second time I was seeing him. I wanted to look like this run aint no thang! So, I picked my head up and ran a block at a time, until I made it back to my apartment. It felt frickin so good to finish that run all the way through. It was a total of two miles, which I ran in about 16 minutes. The Nike Air Plus shoes and new running clothes were cool because they helped me look like a real runner as well as perform a lot better.

I'm pumped to do my next run. However, I think I'm going to hold off on that until tomorrow. Unfortunately, I did not stretch for long enough after my run, which resulted in me waking up SUPER sore. My legs feel huge and jacked, like a bodybuilder's; but they look normal and can't do too much right now. Haha! I'm playing a round of golf with some co-workers tonight. I'll probably walk the course and carry my bag to get a little exercise in along with the swinging, which there will be A LOT of. Perhaps tonight, I can get a little dumbbell action in, as well. We shall see... no promises. I will let you know how it goes (Btw... 12 more days until the 5K).


Monday, June 21, 2010

Zero Progress

I am terribly sorry that I have not blogged lately. The truth is that I have no updates for you as far as my training goes because I've been sucking a big fat one when it comes to moving myself forward to excercie. I wanted to write and put up my next post after I had gotten my act together so that I could sound impressive and like it's all good in the hood. Well, it aint! I guess one thing about moving forward is that you have to be honest with everything... the good, the bad, and the ugly. So... I am ratting myself out for being a lazy little bitch. I have been busy with work and life stuff, but I have not put ANY effort into my training. Therefore, busy can not be the only excuse. I need to get my butt moving because my first 5K is in less than two weeks.

On a more chipper note... the shoes that I have been running on have bitten it. I've had the same sneakers for over two years. I understand, thanks to other people's blogs, that shoes have a certain amount of miles they can take; and if they pass this limited amount of miles, it could cause injury. Having this information mixed with the desire for some funky fresh new running shiz, I decided to get some new kicks. I got the Nike Free Run Plus... sexy as hell. Mine were blue on grey. Along with my stylish new running shoes, I decided to buy some clothes, specifically for running. I want to start looking the role of a runner. I got the ipod arm support thingy majig last month, but I still look like a herb running with straight up basketball gear on. Now I'm legit... except my shorts, which ARE for sports training, but they're not those short shorts that I know runners usually wear... couldn't make that leap quite yet... not sure how comfortable I am with the strong probability of my twig and berries popping how to say "Hello! Boy is it bright out here!" Hahaha! Maybe somewhere down the line I'll be more comfortable or less caring about that incident taking place. We shall see.

Now that I have all this cool new stuff, I need to do it up. I plan on running tonight. I will post tomorrow and let you know how I did. Wish me luck... I NEED it!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Keepin It Goin!

Oh man, does it feel good when I'm on the right track, even if it's just for the day. I did not get the l.5 miles in on Wednesday... instead I did something much more fun. I signed up for Big Brothers Big Sisters a few months ago. Wednesday was the first time that I got to hang out with my "little". He rules. He's smart, funny, and FILLED with energy. I think I may have gotten in the 1.5 miles just running after him. Actually... it's pretty funny because he asked me if we could run around the track for a bit. I was like, "Did someone put you up to this?" The truth is he just likes to run, which is cool. I'm already seeing that I will be getting a lot out of this relationship. We SPRINTED two laps around the track, and he is fast! And he's a tiny guy, too; so he's ducking and dodging people, running around and in between them. And I look like a frickin goofball trying to do the same thing. HAHAHA! After the track, we spent the rest of our time hanging out, throwing a ball around, and talking about all the fun things we're going to do this summer. Needless to say, Wednesday was an awesome day (and I even got a little speed workout in, too).

Yesterday, in New York, it was raining... and then it wasn't... then it was... then it wasn't... then it still wasn't... then it was... The moment I saw a gap where I could squeeze in a run after work, I took it. I ran a little more than a mile at about a 9:00 pace (I think). It was a little weird because I left my ipod at work, and I had no running partner. I tried to make due with the music on my phone, but it kept skipping. Before I threw it against a rock and smashed it into a million pieces because it's annoying as shit to listen to a song with pauses every two seconds, I shut the music off and just ran. From all the stuff I've been reading, runners say that it's good to run without music every now and then because you start to notice and recongnize things that you normally would not while listening to music - like breathing, the sounds of your foot steps, cars honking at you... you know, the good stuff.

So, I'm definitely not there, yet. I was still kind of pissed that I had no music (like a little baby) and I started to talk to myself in my head. Now, I'm not crazy (not enough to be committed anyhow). However, I do have quite a few things going on in my life. It's all good things. I'm really quite blessed, but sometimes the stack can get a little tall. I don't think it's a good time to create my schedule for the next week and a giant to-do list in my head while I'm running. One of the things that I like about my runs is that my mind goes a little blank. It's like I'm taking a mini-vacation from my normal life and going to the magical land of pacing myself while listening to music. HAHAHA! I believe I will continue to listen to my music for a while longer. Eventually, I see myself practicing doing more runs with just me, myself and I.

Today, I plan on doing an upper-body workout. I gotta get this in because I've missed it for (about) a month. I have a $10/month membership at a gym; but if I don't get up early and go before work, the gym gets so packed, like Times Square on New Years. I can't deal with a lot of people. I'm not claustrophobic by any means, but I'm easily irritated when I'm around a lot of people who just go to the gym to hang out and sit on machines. A 30-minute workout should not take two hours. I went out and bought a really good set of dumbbells for $200. I can alternate the weight on the dumbbells and everything. It's pretty sweet. I purchased these items with the best intentions. I was going to workout every other day... get myself nice and jacked before the summer. Well, summer is here; I'm not jacked; and I'm not being too nice to myself because I keep skipping my workouts. I promise to get this workout in today. I gotta throw a wrench in this routine of bailing on commitments to myself. I can probably get nice and jacked for the winter, which really comes in handy when you live in New York. I guess being jacked is overrated in the long run. It's about being healthy. I can be cool with that... a six pack would be nice though. HAHAHA! WHATEVER!!! I have a hot girlfriend that loves my love handles! BOOM!

Goals for the weekend:
Friday - Upper-body workout
Saturday - 1 mile at 9:00 pace
Sunday - 1.5 miles at 10:00 pace

I'm three weeks away from my first 5K and 18 weeks away from my first 10K. I have my training schedule from now to then finalized. I will post it sometime in the near future. Any pointers? I'm open to trying new things.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Too Fast Too Nauseous

Being that I'm a hot shot runner, I always like to do better than I set out to do ahead of time. My goal was to run a mile at a 8:00 pace. I figured that I can beat that... I'm such an idiot.
Why can't I just do the 8:00 mile and be happy with it? Or at least plan to beat 8:00? I'll tell you why... because if I pass the expectations, I feel better about myself... like I'm the best shit ever. If I just meet my expectation, I feel civilized, accomplished but mediocre (weird but true). And if I do not meet my expectation, I'm a stupid idiot loser that should just quit whatever it is I failed at and move into a VAN, DOWN BY THE RIVER! That's a fack, Jack!

Well... I made it to the track last night. It was a really good time to run. I went to the high school track near my apartment because it feels better on my knees, which have been kind of messed up since I was a young lad. It was dark, cool, and quiet; and not a lot of people were around. Claire came with me, unwillingly... Apparently, I was HER reliable running partner this time. We walked around a bit, stretched, and then got our groove on (that means we started to run).

TANGENT! Isn't it great to have music playing while running? It's like my own personal soundtrack. I put together a playlist of songs with great rhythm or that just motivate me, like Eye of the Tiger or that song from the Karate Kid soundtrack. Well, my playlist yesterday was great... warmed up to "Ave Maria" (beautiful, soothing, relaxing... helps get my deep breathing on); then listened to "Fire Starter" by Prodigy (audio cocaine for me... probably why I started out so fast) when I started the mile; ended with "Dead Wrong" by Biggie feat. Eminem (gets my feet moving in sync with the rhythm... a good closer). Cooled down without music... chit-chatted with the woman.

Back to the actual run... I started off way too fast. My strides were short and quick. I looked like the child version of Forrest Gump (with the stiff leg braces) trying to run to the bathroom lickitty split because he was about to make poopies in his pants. Claire hung out with me for the first lap and then fell back because she didn't want to burn out. Smart choice on her part. I'm basically a machine... so, I kept the same pace. My stride was back to normal (slower but longer); and about half way through the second lap, I realized how out of breath I was getting. I slowed it down a bit for the rest of that lap. And then dropped back to a nice smooth steady stride for the rest of my mile (Thanks Biggie!)

My ipod touch has a stop watch on it. This is really convenient because I do not have a digital watch; and I want to track my progress. After each lap, I slap my arm and Boom - time recorded. Here are my results:

Lap 1 = 1:45.9
Lap 2 = 1:50.5
Lap 3 = 2:00.7
Lap 4 = 2:01.5
Total = 7:38.6 mile

While my times were very good and better than planned, I felt really sick during my cool down. I started coughing and was sure that I was going to throw up. I'm quite familiar with the feeling since I got sick after every race I had while running high school track. I wasn't much of a runner. I played soccer throughout high school, and did track just to stay in shape for that. Regardless, I always gave it my all (usually, leaving it all on the side of the track shortly after the race). This time, I refused to stop and gag. I kept deep breaths coming in and out while power walking like a mad man so my heart rate could balance out. The sick feeling dissipated, finally. I stretched, then headed home.

Moral of the story... There's no need to be a hero during a mile training session. Ego needs to calm down, or else Ed's going to destroy himself. Easy does it... As long as I stay on track (no pun intended), I will be able to naturally work my way up to a quicker pace. While this is a great lesson, I have what is called a "built-in forgetter". So, there is no doubt in my mind that I will overdo it again. However, maybe I can take it easy on my run tonight. We shall see.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Awwwe HELL Yeah!!!

I did so much better this weekend than I did Memorial Day weekend. It did not look too promising at the beginning. Even though I had started off right by walking the two miles on Thursday, it did not look very good for the weekend because I didn't do my upper-body workout, which I had planned.

Usually, my upper-body workout consists of an exercise with dumbbells for each of the following: chest, shoulders, back, biceps, and triceps... I do three sets of 15 reps for each exercise. Every time I do an upper-body workout, I try to make sure that I do not repeat the same exercise that I had done last time. This would normally help "confuse" the muscles by mixing things up a bit. Well, I did not have to play such "mind games" with my muscles because I decided not to do a goddamn thing involving either weights or movement.

While I had a few things that I needed to take care of right after work on Friday, I had absolutely nothing going on that night. I mean I did laundry that night... You know that if a person does laundry on a Friday night, it's not because it's so much more fun and entertaining than going out and meeting up with friends. It means that person literally has nothing going on. It wasn't like I was counting down the days of the week at work, looking up different fabric softeners, and drying techniques in anticipation of the extravagent laundry party I had in the basement of my apartment building. NO... I had nothing going on and was down to my last pair of clean boxers. That was the predicament I found myself in on Friday.

I put the first load of laundry on, and I did not have to change it for another 40 minutes. What did I do for that 40 minutes? I went into my apartment, looked at the dumbbells, took a DEEP breath, sat down, and watched Arrested Development (Awesome show... I'd do it again in a heartbeat). This is what I did all night. It was great, but will not do if I plan on sticking with these running shenanigans. I realized this before falling asleep.

I woke up on Saturday morning really pumped to run. It was my goal to get my runs in early in the morning since I sucked so bad at squeezing them in the weekend before (Just realized I put "get my runs" and "squeezing" in the same sentence... gross but funny to me :). I went and picked up me lady, Claire; and we headed off to the park to get our run on. Since she was nice enough to agree to come with me, and I know how much she hates it when I leave her in the dust when we run together, I agreed to let her set the pace. It was slower than my norm... a 10 minute mile, but it felt good to know that I was SLOWLY getting back on track.

Sunday morning's workout was FANTASTIC! For most Sundays throughout the summer, a portion of the Bronx River Parkway is closed from 10am to 1pm so that bicyclists, rollerbladers, and badass runners (like me) can use it. I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to train because my first race (the 10K in October) is the full length of this closed off section of the parkway - Boom! Woke up as if running was the most important thing I ever had to do, picked up my best gal, and went to the parkway.

We started running a little late... about 11ish. So, the sun was out and in full effect. Since I've been training for this thing, I have yet to run in the middle of the day. It's always been in the early morning or at night. But since I'm Superman, I can do whatever I imagine in my head with nothing capable of stopping me. I told Claire I'd stick with her slow-running crap for a little bit, but it was time to do big boy stuff after the first mile. I WAS DYING by the first mile-marker. The sun was kickin my ass, and I was doing everything in my power to keep pace with Claire and look as if SHE was slowin ME down (the male ego is a frail thing that requires constant attention... like a baby bird with a broken wing). We made it to the two-mile marker, which is where we decided ahead of time to turn around and head back. Claire asked if we could walk for a bit. I made it look like, "... I guess. I mean I could definitely keep going if I wanted to, but I'm a good guy. So, I'll walk with you for a lil bit." What I was actually doing was thanking God because if I had to run another 20 feet, my face would have hit the pavement fo sho.

We walked for about a mile, then started back up running again. We got about 3/4 of a mile in, and I swallowed my pride and requested that we walk the rest of the way. I was truly shot. It was the most I'd ever ran. It felt really good when I was done... like I had accomplished something great. I'm grateful that I promised all you ONE followers (that ONE is CLAIRE!- HAHAHA!) that I was going to do better this weekend. It definitely motivated me. I am also grateful that I had a very helpful running partner.

Also, I learned not to underestimate the sun or overestimate my strength... If I had started at the pace I normally go, I would have been shot and given up before the mile marker. I gotta keep that in mind next time I go out. Anyhoot, here's my line up for the week:

Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 1 mile @ 8:00 pace
Wedesday - 1.5 miles @ 8:30 pace
Thursday - 1 mile @ 8:00 pace
Friday - Upper-body workout (I promise!)
Saturday - 1 mile @ 9:00 pace
Sunday - 2 miles @ 9:30 pace

Wish me luck!

Btw... Promised you a race... I'm signing up to run a 5K in Pound Ridge on the 4th of July... Less than a month away... Gotta get moving!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Shutdown

Well, out of the three goals that I set for myself last Thursday, I accomplished zero. I continued on to do nothing for the next two days, as well... leaving me with one week gone and zero progress made. While I am not happy with this, I am not going to beat myself up over it. This weekend was busy, being Memorial Day Weekend and all. My father needed my help doing some work at the house; I had a couple of bbq's to attend; and I managed to get myself a little stomach virus, which hit me on Monday night. I'm okay now, but it took me out of commission for a couple of days.

Even though I decided not to beat myself up over this lack of progress, I still remain a little disappointed that I have lost one complete week of training. While I did have a lot going on , there were still opportunities to get in some workouts. In order to avoid repeating the same scenario and getting the same feelings of disappointment in the future, I should come up with a better gameplan as far as making sure that my workout schedule meshes well with the other things that I need to do. A good example is... Saturday, Sunday, and Monday... my dad did not need my help until about 9am. I could have gotten up a little earlier and had a good run on any one of these days, but I chose to sleep in an extra hour.

It is time to get back into gear. The 10K is far away... so far that I can not see it. So, I am going to sign up for a 3M or a 5K in July so that I have something in the near future that I can see. It should motivate me to get myself on track, in theory. I will sign up for the next race before my next post. I will let you know which one it is then. Since my stomach is still a little off, I am not going to run today. Instead I will walk for about a mile or so. And then I will pick up where I left off tomorrow...

Gameplan for the next three days:
  • Friday = Upper-body workout
  • Saturday = One mile run at 8:00 pace
  • Sunday = Two mile run at 9:00 pace
I will do better this time... I promise. Wish me luck!